Archive for November, 2014

Catalog Browsing

I’m writing this post during the girls nap time to let you know that my mind has lost its way lately.  It may be due to living with an almost two year old.  She was a puddle of tears this morning because she couldn’t wear the wooden shoe form I have sitting on our bookshelf.

I thought I pulled off a major accomplishment by dressing Grace today, instead of just putting her from one set of PJs to the next, but I ended up dressing my three month old in business casual.

grace bus cas

And just moments ago, I thought I’d make myself hot chocolate to blog with.  Sounds amazing, right?  I then grabbed a coffee cup from the cupboard and microwaved it for one minute, completely empty.  I’ll just file that under things not to admit on the internet.

So, dear, beloved, thanks for sticking around, readers – I present to you stuff I like from catalogs we receive lately because Josie loves looking through them with me; she thinks they are picture books.


Boden Padded Parka


Soho Ankle Boot


Diaper Tote


Pheasant Print Pillow


Nordic Tree Basket


Rose Gold Garland

Tempting, right?  You send me a catalog, Josie and I will sit down, read it and ooh and ahh over it, no matter what.  I’m talking to you, Hammacher Schlemmer.

November 20, 2014 at 5:10 AM 5 comments

What Lies Beneath…

You know when you have company coming over and you throw all embarrassing messes into a closet?  Or is that just me?  Did everyone grow out of that stage a couple years post college?  Cause I’m still in it.

Well, one embarassment that I couldn’t throw into a closet was our absolutely disgusting dining room carpet.

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In case you have terrible site, here is a close up of the stains.

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Disgusting.  Like frat house gross.  It was already pretty bad when we bought the place and then Josie spilled a gigantic bowl of spaghetti with marinara sauce on it and well it was just a downward spiral after that.  It is really embarassing when we have people over.  I find myself apologizing for it immediately and actually just pointing it out at the same time.  Awesome.

Since moving in, we’ve spent months wondering what lies beneath the carpet.  We were hopeful that there was hardwood floor but we weren’t fully sure.  The neighbors homes were built by the same architect in the 40’s and they both have terricota tile in parts so there was a chance that was what was there.  Regardless, we had no idea the condition.  So we waited until we had some more savings in case we needed to redo the flooring.

This weekend, Graham ripped up the carpet and I helped lift up the staples and clean out all the dust.  About four hours of teamwork later and take a look at what we have now…

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I mean how lucky are we?!!

There are some very minor spots to touch up with a wood finish pen and wood filler.  Overall, the floor is in fantastic condition and the stain is just perfect.  What an upgrade!!!  Don’t need to throw anything in the closet anymore.

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There are still more tweaks I need to do to the dining room but it’s on the right track.

We also recently got new dining room chairs that you see above.  I went to the Oly Studio warehouse sale with the intention of buying nothing for myself.  But, I went, saw these chairs at about 90% off.  I’ve always been a huge fan of the klismos chair and I absolutely love the color leather on them.  One quick call to Graham with an “I trust you; do what you want” response and they were mine.

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I love them, Graham loves them and Josie just has a grand old time climbing up on them.  Win, win, win.

If you’re wondering what the chandelier is poking through the top of the photos, that is the Stray Dog Designs chandelier that was a display (ready 75% off) at an Anthropologie store.

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It actually will be going in our breakfast nook once we get around to making my breakfast nook dream come true.  You can read my dream plans here. One day, I’ll put a more formal chandelier in the dining room.  There will also be drapes. And a rug, of course.  But, it all takes time and budget so for now this is where we’re at and I’m happy with it.

Step by step, the home is becoming more us.  I have to admit that I’ve got this overwhelming feeling of home ownership pride due to that weekend DIY project.

November 17, 2014 at 5:27 AM 6 comments

Thick as Thieves

wedding e

For 48 hours, Graham, my extended family and I were whisked away to the land of enchantment.  For a fleeting moment, I was free.  Free of spit up, tantrums, pointing out colors, changing diapers, keeping a food schedule and finding pacifies in the sketchiest depths of our home.

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We let loose.  Let the joy of two heartfelt, positive, energetic people, completely lost in love, take over.  It was, and is, a contagious love my cousin and his bride exude.

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I am part of a tribe that is almost always in rare form.  We travel the world to support each other.  We let the good times roll with hoot and hollers and you better believe we can get down to the rhythm of a mariachi band.

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While it’s easy to be there in the thick, we’re there in the thin, sometimes with a misguided joke or unsolicited advice.  However, despite any flubs, we all try our hardest because we’re family.

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As I return to the ever reliable alarm clock of a hungry crying baby and a protesting toddler, I think to myself may I instill in my girls what was instilled in me: we are thick as thieves in this family and you love with reckless abandon.

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November 14, 2014 at 5:00 AM 10 comments

One Room Challenge: The Big Reveal

Well here it is, the big reveal day.  I’m nervous to show everyone.  I hope you like it!!  And thank you for all your support throughout this process. The comments have lifted me up and kept me going.  I absolutely love hearing from you so thank you from the bottom of my heart.

As a refresher, here is my mom’s pool house before…



And without further adieu, here are the afters…

pool house shot





As a reminder, the fireplace area before…

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My all time favorite sofa…





And the club chairs got all dressed up in everyone’s favorite Quadrille Zig Zag with some custom pom pom pillows…




The pillows are reversable – the opposite side is a coral terricloth fabric (playing on the whole pool thing)…




Since the coffee table didn’t make it in time, we spray painted the existing one.  If the coffee table never makes it, I think this one will do just fine.


For the dining room area, we got new dining room chairs, which I love.  We also set the table using mom’s linens (she’s had that Otomi runner for about 15 years – what a little trend setter she is).





Throughout this whole process, there are so many that I have to thank.  First of all, Linda of Calling It Home for not only inventing the One Room Challenge but also opening it up to all of us blogger.  It was really fun to participate instead of always reading along.  A huge thank you to my mom for trusting me and for having fun with the process.  Putting a room together that I love and am proud of was hugely rewarding.  However, I have to say, the biggest reward was an excuse to come hang out with my mom a couple of times a week for six weeks.  The girls and I absolutely loved our quality Kaky time.

I also have to thank my two personal assistants.  Without them, I wouldn’t have the coffee table books rearranged as soon as I put them on the table.  Books are for reading, not for styling, if you ask assistant A:


I also would not have been able to test out Christopher Farr Cloth’s stain resistance without assistant B’s gracious spit up.

grace pool

Assistant A decided to take a break from rearranging the styling pieces in order to catch up on her Billiards reading.  As you do…


What’s that you say?  Assistant A matches the sofa.  My oh my – I had no idea.  Crazy.

Luckily for my assistants, they are pretty dang cute so I’ll keep working with them.

There you have it, the one room challenge accepted and completed.  I hope you enjoyed the tour as much as I loved working on it.  Thanks for looking!  And please do check out all the other extremely talented participants here.  Hope to see you back here at the next challenge.


November 6, 2014 at 5:22 AM 25 comments


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